Money is one of the major causes of problems in a marriage. The statistic shows that most couples have more arguments over money than they do sex. Money issues are also responsible for 22% of all divorces, making it the third leading cause according to the Divorce Financial Analysis. Marriage is a commitment of two people working together as one. The lack of trust in marriage has caused more challenges when it comes to money. Our society creates the other big problem with the prenuptial agreement and separate bank accounts. Prenuptial agreement is against biblical teaching when it comes to marriage. In Marriage, you must work together as one. You are now in a lifetime partnership with the one you love. Here are some key reasons to prevent money from destroying your marriage:
- The Wedding
Expert shows the number one mistake most couples make is spending too much on the wedding. We know you want to have the best wedding possible, but if your budget is limited, you should think about doing a small wedding. It is not a good idea to start your married life in the red zone. Couples spend more time planning for the wedding and forget to plan for the marriage. If you start wrong, it will put a strain on your marriage from the beginning. That is a recipe for disaster.
- Don’t Be a Slave To Money
Most of you have money problems long before you get married. You probably became a slave to money from the time you were in your teens, and that mentality followed you into your adulthood. I know using the word slave is strong but it is in the bible, so I am going to stick with it. We are living in a culture that wants us to be a spending society rather than become business owners and investors. The bible says in Proverbs 22: 7 The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower becomes a slave to the lenders. Romans chapter 13:8 says, “Owe no man anything, but to love one another, for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law” In marriage, we should be the master of our money not a slave to it.
- Learn how money works
Money is not just mere paper bills or coins, as we would want to believe. It is a medium of exchange. Money is a measuring device. It is a tool we use to trade with, to get what we want. What most people do not know about money is that money is useless by itself. We must learn to invest money so we can have exponential growth and return on our investment. It is what we do with our money that gives it power. If I give you a million dollars and you dig a hole in your backyard and bury it, what good is it going to do for you? It cannot do anything by itself. Money in the hands of a good person will result in good things and money in the hands of a bad person can do bad things. Money in the hands of a husband or wife who do not have good money management skills can be disastrous. It is imperative that as husband and wife you learn how to handle your money. Develop good money habits. These are not habits you are born with; these are habits you have to develop. Anyone who is willing to learn can do so now without spending anything. Just ask Google.
- What Is Your Relationship With Money?
You must develop a good relationship with your money. If you do not respect money, it will never respect you. Money has no power without its user, and so the kind of relationship you have with money will determine how you use it. When you have a good relationship with money, you will value how you use it. God wants us to honor him with our money. Money attracts money, and most of you are a repellent to money and not attractive to it. The word of God says if we are faithful over a few things, God will make us ruler over many. His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master! Matthew 25:23. God cannot make you ruler over many if you cannot take care of what he is blessing you with right now. God is not a Genie that you rub and get three wishes. God cannot be manipulated. He won’t give you more if you can’t handle the few.
- Understanding Your Partner’s Money Mindset
Understanding your spouse’s money mindset is critical to your financial success. No two people are on the same-level-playing-field when it comes to money. I am good at handling my money, but my wife is better at it. She is strategic and systematic when it comes to money management. Well, that might be one of the main reasons she is an administrator for an accounting firm. When your spouse is worried because of your spending habit, it creates mistrust in the marriage as it pertains to money. When the money is funny, the love is funny too.
- Set Financial Goals Together
What are your financial goals for 2018? Did you and your spouse sit down and write out all of your debt from the largest to the smallest? Did you come up with a game plan on how both of you are going to work together to fix them? If you are not working together, one of you have something to hide, and eventually, it might cost you your marriage. Life happens, and situations in your life can impact your finances negatively at any time. The big problem occurs when you do not consult with your spouse before making any big financial decision.
- Fall in Love with the “B-word”
One of the sexiest words in our home is budget. When the money is right, the love it tight; so I keep the budget locked. Budgeting is the only way to keep track of your money; yet only 32% of Americans have a budget. The good news is that technology has made budgeting a lot easier with the proliferation of online tools and apps that track your accounts and spending for you. My wife and I live and die by our budget. We pay ourselves an allowance to last until the next income date. A budget helps you to keep track of your money. If your outflow is more than your inflow, then your upkeep will be your downfall. In other words, you do not have a clear idea of how your money is spent. You are likely to start robbing people. By that, I mean you are robbing Peter to pay Paul. I do not know where that came from, but that’s how many couples live.
- Credit Cards Is Not Your Money
Most couples forget this golden rule. In our house, this message Is preached to our sons. That is credit cards are not yours; a bank owns them and loans it to you. On average, an American between the ages of 18 and 65 has $4,717 of credit card debt. According to CreditCards.com, the average credit card’s interest rate is 15%. At the minimum payment of $189, it will take ten years and a month to pay off that $4,717. Most people focus on how much the monthly payment is going to be rather than focusing on how much it is going to cost with interest rate and the total debt owed.
At the end of 2015, the Federal Reserve released data on American credit card debt (this is called “revolving” debt, because you do not need to reapply for the loan), and the total came to $935.6 billion.
My wife and I made a covenant years ago in our marriage that we would not co-sign for anyone when it comes to financing anything. This can damage relationships, and I have seen it ruin marriages. If you need me to co-sign for you, it means you are not qualified for the loan. Once I put my name next to yours, the debt automatically becomes mine. See I love my family and friends very much, but I love my wife and children more. In addition, I will not put their financial future in jeopardy because you did not learn to manage your money. Moreover, the truth is if you are a bad manager of your money, me signing for you does not change the fact that you are a bad manager of your money. Give them what you can to help them financially, but do not put your name next to theirs on any financial document.
- Don’t Chase After Status
We live in a society of the rich and the famous. A society in which prosperity must be achieved no matter the cost, even if it costs you everything. To have status, most people live above their means and eventually meet their demise. This is my personal definition of the word status: “It is spending money that you don’t have to buy things that you can’t afford to impress people that you don’t even like.” Our society is very status driven. Do not be status driven; be God driven, and financial freedom driven. Too many marriages allow money to control them instead of them controlling money. God did not create us to be slaves to the dollar bill. He wants us to be good stewards of our money.
- Don’t follow the Joneses
Don’t follow the Joneses. The last time I checked, I heard in the news that they filed for bankruptcy. They lost everything.
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